FOCUS & COVID-19: What You Need to Know

Becky RasmussenNews

At FOCUS St. Louis, we continue to monitor the news around COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). Our highest priority remains the health and safety of our employees, program participants, volunteers and alumni – as well as the greater community good – and to this end, we have taken the following steps and precautions. This is a continually evolving situation, and we will update this page as changes are needed.

FOCUS Leadership Programs

Program days for Youth Leadership St. Louis, Leadership St. Louis, Coro Women In Leadership, Emerging Leaders and FOCUS Impact Fellows are on hold through May 11, 2020.

Depending on the specific program, changes may include:

  • Postponing program days for a later date;
  • Offering opportunities for online learning and class participation; and/or
  • Cancelling some program days.

If you are a current program participant, please keep an eye on your email for communications from your Program Director.

FOCUS Events

All FOCUS events are cancelled and/or postponed through May 11, 2020, and all registrants have been notified by email. We are evaluating these on a case-by-case basis to see which may be rescheduled for a later date.

The 2020 What’s Right with the Region Awards, originally set for May 7, 2020, will be rescheduled. We will let you know as soon as details are confirmed. If you have already purchased a ticket for the original date, you will have the option of transferring your ticket to the new date or receiving a refund.

Program Recruitment

Recruitment is still underway as planned for our 2020-21 programs, as these classes do not begin until the fall of 2020.

The team is exploring alternative options for Selection Days and interviews so that these may be carried out virtually.

FOCUS Staff & Office

In an effort to practice social distancing and fight the spread of disease, FOCUS team members are working remotely. If you need anything, staff are still available by email and are checking voicemail regularly. Please do not hesitate to reach out, and we appreciate your patience.

Working for the Greater Good

In times of uncertainty, responsible leadership is more important than ever. Here are a few ways you, as a leader, can continue to “show up” to support our community.

Be a considerate citizen:

  • Follow the guidelines put in place by our local, state and national leaders.
  • Practice social distancing.
  • Purchase what you need and then stop. Avoid hoarding or panic buying.
  • Seek out facts from reputable sources and public health agencies. (See links below). Avoid fear-based rumors or messages that promote the stigmatization of affected individuals/groups.

Be a kind neighbor:

  • Check in on those you know in higher-risk groups, including the elderly and those with chronic health conditions.
  • Find alternative ways to stay in touch with loved ones and friends to maintain your “virtual” community and combat the effects of social isolation.
  • Donate to community organizations that are still working to support vulnerable populations during this time, such as food banks, homeless shelters, and health clinics. The St. Louis Community Foundation has created the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund, and the United Way of Greater St. Louis has also established a COVID-19 Crisis Fund. Also, don’t forget about the nonprofits you regularly support that may be struggling at this time due to cancelled events and fundraisers.
  • Be graceful with yourself and your fellow leaders, as we all work to find our footing in these unprecedented times.
Information & Resources

Updated 3.17.2020 at 3:24 p.m.